UNITED STATES NEWS

Ex-Las Vegas Raider Henry Ruggs sentenced to 3-plus years in prison for fatal DUI crash in Nevada

Aug 9, 2023, 10:43 AM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former Las Vegas Raiders player Henry Ruggs was sentenced Wednesday to at least three years in a Nevada prison for killing a woman in a fiery crash while driving his sports car drunk at speeds up to 156 mph on a city street nearly two years ago.

“I sincerely apologize,” the former first-round NFL draft pick said as he stood for sentencing in Las Vegas after pleading guilty in May to felony DUI causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, a charge carrying a six-month jail sentence that will be folded in with his three-to-10-year prison term.

Ruggs, now 24, was cut by the Raiders while he was still hospitalized following the predawn crash on Nov. 2, 2021. The collision killed Tina Tintor and her dog, Max, and injured Ruggs’ passenger, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, his fiancee and mother of their daughter.

“I have no excuses,” Ruggs said, citing pain the case has caused his family, teammates and Tintor’s family. Ruggs said that after prison, he intends to counsel others “about the dangers of driving at unsafe speed and driving and drinking.”

Tintor’s mother, Mirjana Komazec, offered grief, grace and memories of “what it was like to hug and embrace her, knowing we will never be able to kiss her on her forehead or tell her how much we love her and how absolutely proud of her we are,” she said in a statement read in court by Tintor’s cousin, David Strbac.

“We pray that Henry Ruggs is blessed with the opportunity to be able watch his beautiful daughter grow into the amazing woman she can be,” Komazec’s statement said. “And we pray that this terrible accident inspires positive change in the world. We pray that we all take away the importance of looking out for one another, remembering everyone we meet is another human’s loved one.”

Kilgo-Washington and a group of friends and supporters watched as Ruggs, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and blue tie, was handcuffed by a court officer when Clark County District Court Judge Jennifer Schwartz read the sentence. Ruggs was then led away. Ruggs had remained free on house arrest since shortly after the crash.

In court filings ahead of the sentencing, Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, included letters from high school administrators and teachers in Montgomery, Alabama, who praised Ruggs, and a testimonial from Democratic Alabama state Rep. Phillip Ensler.

“Mr. Ruggs is a man of good character who made a terrible mistake,” the attorneys said in the presentencing memorandum. “His remorse is deep and sincere.”

His plea deal avoided a trial that Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said posed obstacles for conviction because Ruggs was not administered a field sobriety test following the crash and his defense attorneys argued that Ruggs’ blood-alcohol test was improperly obtained at the hospital.

Wolfson, a Democrat, said the blood test provided “virtually” the only proof that Ruggs was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. It revealed that Ruggs had a blood-alcohol level of 0.16% — twice the legal limit in Nevada — after the rear-end wreck ignited a fire in Tintor’s Toyota Rav 4.

Kilgo-Washington also was injured in Ruggs’ demolished 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. Prosecutors said Ruggs suffered a leg injury, and Kilgo-Washington received an arm injury. Kilgo-Washington was not cooperative with prosecutors as a victim in the case.

Wolfson had said Ruggs would face a mandatory minimum of two years in prison if convicted and could get more than 50 years. The district attorney said investigators learned that Ruggs spent several hours drinking with friends at a sports entertainment site and golfing venue, and may have been at a friend’s home for several more hours before he and Kilgo-Washington headed home.

Tintor was a Serbian immigrant who friends and family members said graduated from a Las Vegas high school, worked at a Target store, wanted to become a computer programmer and was close to obtaining her U.S. citizenship. The family statement called Max her best friend.

“The sentence isn’t going to bring Tina back,” Farhan Naqvi, an attorney who represented Tintor’s family, said outside the courtroom. “What we’re hoping for, more than anything, is that other deaths can be prevented from driving under the influence and reckless driving. It ruins lives. It destroys families.”

United States News

United States' forward LeBron James waves to the crowd after the end of an exhibition basketball ga...

Associated Press

LeBron James selected as Team USA male flagbearer for Paris Olympics opening ceremony

LeBron James wasn’t totally sure what the opening ceremony was all about when he was picked for his first Olympics in 2004. This time, he’ll be one of the stars of the show. James has been picked by his fellow U.S. Olympians to serve as the male flagbearer for the Americans in Friday night’s opening […]

46 minutes ago

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan speaks to employees in Washington, Thur...

Associated Press

EPA awards $4.3 billion to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $4.3 billion in grants to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution. The money will go to 25 projects targeting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electric power, commercial and residential buildings, industry, agriculture and waste and materials management. The grants are paid for by […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares fall after Wall St ends worst week; Biden withdraw from 2024 race

Asian stocks were mostly lower Monday after President Joe Biden exited the 2024 race. The downbeat start to the week followed losses Friday on Wall Street as businesses around the world scrambled to contain disruptions from a massive technology outage. U.S. futures were little changed and oil prices rose. Biden announced his withdrawal from the […]

7 hours ago

FILE - San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris poses for a portrait in San Francisco, June 18...

Associated Press

Vice President Kamala Harris leads list of contenders for spots on the Democratic ticket

President Joe Biden’s decision to step down as the Democratic Party’s nominee for president opens the door for other contenders to become the Democratic nominee in November. The president has thrown his support behind Vice President Kamala Harris, and other prominent Democrats moved quickly to rally around her candidacy, but it’s unclear just how smooth […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Alaska police and US Coast Guard searching for missing plane with 3 people onboard

Alaska authorities are conducting a search for a missing airplane with three people onboard. Alaska State Troopers received a report from the U.S. Coast Guard of a missing plane shortly before 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the state Department of Public Safety said in a statement. The single-propeller, 1948 Beach Craft Bonanza was flying near Mount Crillon […]

7 hours ago

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak at a campaign event ...

Associated Press

JD Vance makes solo debut as GOP vice presidential candidate with Monday rallies in Virginia, Ohio

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — To move overnight to set up Monday rally. Republican JD Vance will make his first solo appearances on the campaign trail Monday, a day after the 2024 presidential race was thrown into upheaval as President Joe Biden dropped out of the race, making the Democratic candidate an open question. Vance, an […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Ex-Las Vegas Raider Henry Ruggs sentenced to 3-plus years in prison for fatal DUI crash in Nevada